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Xray for hip dysplasia?

Species: Dog
Breed: golden
Age: 1-2 years
Hi Dr,

I was just wondering as a rule whether I should have Max x-rayed to check for hip dysplasia. He's 18 kmonths.

This current bit of hypochondria was brought on by some discussions with other Golden owners. As you know they are very prone to it.

I've started watching him and wonder if maybe his lef hip gate is a bit looser than the right. (though admittedly it wouldn't take much to convince me the other way).

The breeder sent me home with papers attesting to 5 generations hip certification from a lab in the US.

At 7 months the vet examined his hips and found 130 degrees motion without pain and without abnormality of gate.

He routinely runs up stairs, jumps on counters, ottomans. He has this trick where he jumps on the bed and then dodges left and right like a mogul skiier, for a good 10 min!


What are your thoughts?

Jay



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there Jay.

The reason why we usually do hip xrays at 18 months is to evaluate dogs who are going to be used for breeding. The idea is that if, by 18 months, we can see evidence of the potential for hip dysplasia, then we know that this dog is not a good one to use for breeding and we can go ahead and neuter the dog. It's kind of a moot point in Max's case because he's definitely not siring any puppies in his lifetime.

Otherwise, there really isn't any point in xraying him unless he is having lameness issues. A little bit of odd gait would not be enough for me to consider taking xrays. But, in his lifetime if he develops a limp in a hind leg or is reluctant to jump up or go up stairs then it's worthwhile to do the xrays.

To get good hip xrays it is usually necessary to do some deep sedation. I just can't see this being worth it to put your mind at ease.

I suppose the other idea of xraying him early would be that if he was to need surgery for hip dysplasia, well then we could do it early. But, realistically we wouldn't be considering surgery unless he had serious lameness issues.

So, I would say, no...don't have the xrays done.

The only reason I would consider doing them is if the thought of possible hip dysplasia is driving you crazy. However, the xrays might not even be conclusive at this age.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

To what degree does 5 generations free predict no dysplasia in the current generation?

Can one spot a displasia from examination / visually ?

Jay




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I would say that the odds are really good that Max will be fine if he has had 5 generations of no hip dysplasia. It's a tricky disease though. There are multiple genes involved and even the best breeders occasionally get the odd one. It sounds like your breeder is an ethical one and I would be very surprised if Max had a problem.

The only time that I can get an idea from hip dysplasia from a physical exam is when a dog is quite advanced. I'm generally looking for pain on palpation and manipulation of the hip joint. But, let's say we had a dog with the genes for hip dysplasia, but the disease has not gotten to the point where it causes pain, then I can't determine a thing on physical exam.



Customer reply:

I understand. Thanks again.

Jay


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.